‘The Blacklist’ Season 9: Promo Photos Show an Emotional Dembe in Episode 5

The Blacklist Season 9 shows Dembe in a very different position than fans are used to. Dembe became an FBI agent in the two years following Liz’s death. Red found a new bodyguard in Weecha Xui, and things are obviously awkward between Red and Dembe. It’s not clear exactly why Dembe decided to leave Red. However, the promo photos for episode 5 hint that emotions will run high for Dembe, perhaps due to an old gift.

Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma in The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 5. A tear falls down Dembe's cheek.
Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma in ‘The Blacklist’ Season 9 Episode 5 | Will Hart/NBC

Red gave Dembe a gift in season 4

In The Blacklist Season 4, the hunter who rescued Mr. Kaplan shoots Dembe, and Red is just barely able to save his life. In the episode “Philomena,” Red visits Dembe while he is recovering. He gives Dembe a package and instructs him not to open it until the day he decides to leave him. Dembe tells Red that he isn’t leaving him.

“But you can,” Red responds. “At any point of your own choosing I’ll insist that you do, no questions asked, no debts accrued with our friendship intact and flourishing. For we’ll have new lands to discover, not as coworkers but as cohorts. Whether it’s today or tomorrow or 10 years from now, that’s when you open the box.”

Fans have plenty of theories about what could be in the box, but the package has yet to resurface. In The Blacklist Season 9, it seems like that day will finally come. Promo images for episode 5 hint that the box will be back after many years.

Promo photos hint the box will return in ‘The Blacklist’ Season 9

In The Blacklist Season 9, Dembe becomes an FBI agent following the death of Liz. So far, the new season hasn’t addressed exactly what went down between Dembe and Red. It’s possible that Dembe blames Red for Liz’s death. The last fans saw of them in the season 8 finale, Dembe was pulling Red away from Liz’s body.

It seems that the time finally came for Dembe to leave Red. Unfortunately, their friendship now seems strained, unlike Red had hoped. A promo photo for episode 5 shows Dembe with a box that looks a lot like the one Red gave him in season 4. Hopefully, fans will finally get to see what’s inside.

Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma in 'The Blacklist' Season 9. Dembe sits at a table with his hand on a wrapped package.
Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma in ‘The Blacklist’ Season 9 | Will Hart/NBC

Whatever the box contains, it looks like it could bring an emotional reaction out of Dembe. Another promo photo for episode 5 shows Dembe with tears on his face. It’s not confirmed that the contents of the box are what causes his tears, but it’s likely that something about his relationship with Red will lead to an emotional scene in episode 5.

Will Dembe return to Red in ‘The Blacklist’ Season 9?

Dembe has gone off to forge his own path before. In season 6, he parted ways with Red, only to return and save his friend’s life. However, Dembe’s departure from protecting Red seems more final in The Blacklist Season 9. It’s been two years since Liz died, and their relationship is still strained. Now Dembe appears to be considering opening the box that signifies the end of his working relationship with Red.

RELATED: ‘The Blacklist’: Dembe Was Originally Supposed to Appear in Only One Episode